Jose Mourinho maintains that Chelsea were right to let Frank Lampard leave the club despite the midfielder's good form for Manchester City.
Lampard brought an end to a 13-year association with the Stamford Bridge outfit in the summer, in which time he became Chelsea's all-time record goalscorer. The 36-year-old failed to agree terms on a new contract a left on a free transfer.
Originally, Lampard agreed a deal to sign for MLS side New York City on a two-year contract. But as New York were still unable to play in the US league, Lampard agreed a loan deal with Manchester City, who are covering his entire £190,000-a-week wage packet, until the end of December.
Lampard has since become an integral part of Manuel Pellegrini's team. He is currently the club's joint-second top scorer this season, alongside Yaya Toure, with six goals in all competitions, including the winner in a tight game against Leicester City on Saturday.
That has given Manchester City reason to pursue an extension on his loan deal and means Lampard could play a key part in chasing down his former club in the Premier League title race.
Regardless of the situation, Mourinho maintains that it was in the club's best interest to let the midfielder go. That is despite the fact that he brought Didier Drogba, 36, back to the club on a one-year deal and has also retained the services of John Terry, 34.
"The project is to prepare for the next 10 years, not the next year - we made the right decision," Mourinho told reporters.
"You can argue 'You have John Terry and Didier Drogba'. Different. Drogba is a striker that is coming to help and support the team," Mourinho said.
"John Terry is the best central defender in English football and it doesn't matter how old he is.
"The nucleus of the team has to be developed and to have a big player like Frank we would stop the development of the other guys."
Premier League record
Lampard's goal against the Foxes elevated him to fourth in the all-time Premier League goal scorers list, equal with Thierry Henry on 175. On his current form, few would bet against Lampard surpassing the Arsenal legend before his current loan deal expires at the end of this month.